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Campaigners call for an end to car park charges at all Scottish hospitals

© Kris Miller/DCT MediaA meter at Ninewells Hospital
A meter at Ninewells Hospital

Campaigners are calling for an end to parking charges at all Scottish hospitals.

They insist the government can cover the cost with the £7.5 million windfall from the Barnett Formula used to calculate funding from Westminster.

A petition by staff at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary received almost 25,000 signatures within weeks of being launched last year, after annual permits were scrapped for NHS workers.

Scottish Conservative Health spokesman Miles Briggs described the government’s track record on hospital parking as “abysmal”.

Charges at PFI hospitals include Edinburgh Royal Infirmary at £7.20 a day, Glasgow Royal Infirmary which charges £1.70 an hour, and Ninewells hospital in Dundee which costs £2.40 for four hours.

The MSP said: “The estimated cost of reimbursing staff for parking at these hospitals is £2.7 million a year, a payment which is made affordable thanks to the Barnett Formula.

“The Scottish government has failed to get to grips with the problems experienced by hospital staff and patients.”

Dr Nikki Thomson, deputy chair of BMA Scotland, said: “Doctors consistently tell us that availability and cost of car parking at hospitals remains a key issue for many.”

A spokesman for Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “The Scottish Government abolished car park fees at all NHS-owned hospitals across Scotland in December 2008.

“We would like to be able to scrap car park charges at PFI car parks but, contractually, we are unable to do so.”